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Bistro eats, house-made with love: The Chef’s Palate opens in Henderson

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The Chef’s Palate has taken over the space formerly occupied by Hurricane Wings in Henderson and turned it into a bistro with flavor and flare.

Keeping it fresh and keeping it family, dynamic husband and wife duo Kristy and Chef Rex George quietly popped the cork Friday night on their new bistro, Chef's Palate Martini and Wine Bar at Eastern and Horizon Ridge in Henderson. A couple for 12 years, married nine, the power pair shares a combined 30 years of culinary experience under their collective belts.

Kristy, who runs the front of house, and Chef Rex, who lords over the kitchen, studied food and wine together and both taught in Napa Valley at the Culinary Institute of America’s Greystone location before coming to Las Vegas. Before starting their Henderson venture, Kristy took jobs at Paris and Caesars while Chef Rex ran the kitchen at Lake Las Vegas’ Vineyard Restaurant for seven years.

Inside the demure corner location, deep sienna walls alternate with latte-colored ones and black-painted house siding for a cozy neighborhood feel, which transports diners far from the clang of slot machines and din of on-Strip chain food factories. The walls are lined with strategically grouped glamor shots of Chef’s entrees, which are priced at a friendly $25-30. Attractive female servers romp in logo’d jumpers, the gents in martini’d ties.

House-made and fresh are the orders of the day at the 1,950 square foot Chef’s Palate, where Chef Rex whips up from-scratch sauces such as his Remoulage, veal stock reduction, chili oils, herb oils and his signature pastrami rub in the kitchen.

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Chef’s Palate Martini and Wine Bar
10740 S. Eastern Ave., Henderson
538-9555
Open for dinner Tuesday through Thursday, 4-11 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 4 p.m.-midnight, and Sunday, 4-10 p.m.
Available Mondays for private parties, meetings and receptions.
A grand opening is tentatively slated for late April.

"Everything is made fresh daily," reports the chef. With just 84 seats to tend to, he can stretch his culinary legs a little, lavishing guests in bacon-wrapped filets, brandied creamed corn, Napa cabbage wrapped steamed fish and crab cakes. Dessert is either inspired by or acquired directly from Chef Flemming Pederson, those petite pistachio encrusted chocolate cheesecakes are otherwise only available at his eponymous bakery in Henderson.

Seating is configured to encourage larger parties, with six six-tops, plus a scattering of four tops and one romantic corner deuce as well as umbrella-shaded patio tables for cooperative weather. The cozy black wooden booths and clothed tables hardly giveaway the space’s former existence as one of four local Hurricane Wings locations. The chain folded, leaving behind a smart jewel box location.

"The energy is really nice in here at night," says Kristy, surveying the dining room, which is split in twain by a low pony wall, demarcating the start of the bar area with its own five high-top tables. The couple spent the last year and a half solely focused on creating over 300 menu items before selecting the few that would make the cut on the opening menu. As the seasons change so too will the menu and the corresponding photos on the walls. "We’ve just both been in the industry so long that we knew exactly what we wanted." And somehow they’ve managed along the way to eat, drink and stay married.

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